It happened again this morning. I’ve had the itch to go out shooting but either haven’t had the time, felt well enough, or the weather hasn’t been so great. I stared out the window as I sat down to my desk wishing. But, it’s rainy (and cold, at least sorta- 40’s). But, I decided to give myself a little assignment- a moment outside, a moment camera in hand. Step out on the back porch and take five pictures (or 2o+)- up, down, in front of me, left, and right. It’s dreary, the scenery from the back porch is alright- nothing earth shattering though. Then, I took the images into Lightroom and play with some Lightroom presets. These images are nothing by throw aways anyway. Right? Could I alter the mood and try a little photo editing style play within Lightroom.

Mood Altering Photo Editing Style Play with Lightroom Presets

I’m sure you know how these days are. Right? Those dreary days of winter. There’s greenery outside of my window- of course, I live in the land of pines. But things aren’t budding yet. Still, I stepped outside for my new assignment.

Creative Photography Idea: Give yourself made-up ungraded assignments from time to time. Allow yourself to take photos that don’t mean anything. Make up the assignment’s steps- like playing with photo editing with your throw away shots. You never know what might become of them or what you might learn. And if nothing else, each photo is a step in becoming more familiar with your camera- and, in the case of editing, your software.

In Front of me

This one was the most obvious to me. . . the water droplets on the tree branches is a large part of what kept calling my name. I knew I wouldn’t be able to get close even if I ventured out- they are in the steep drop down to the creek- so they would have been overhead if I got by them. (And, I’d rather not go sliding down the muddy bank into the creek this morning. . . and I’m sure there are plenty of briars.)

Photo Editing Style Lightroom Presets- Straight Ahead

Lightroom Preset: 1969 Vogue

I’m not always a fan of actions and presets but I do find them easy to use for something like this- to see where you might take an image and then adjust as you go. This one lends to the shot. You can see the original below but to me, it makes those raindrops calling my name stand out more- and almost more romantic. What do you think?

Lightroom Presets: If you’re not familiar with Lightroom, you may want to know that a Lightroom preset works very similar to a non-destructive Photoshop Action. They come in “all shapes and sizes” doing various things- from simply fixing exposure to making dramatic changes. I’ve linked the presets which are also from the sets of presets and makers that I use most often.

Looking Right

Photo Editing Style Lightroom Presets- Look Right

Lightroom Preset: Milford Greens

Raindrops turned grungy and moody.

Looking Left

Sometimes a view just doesn’t interest you- that was what I faced looking left today.

Photo Editing Style Lightroom Presets- Look Left

Lightroom Preset: Aquarius

Even still this one makes it feel more like fall. . . Where maybe the weather would be nicer. Those types of days are coming. Spring will be here- maybe this weekend. This is Texas after all. . . the weather can change almost as quickly as a Lightroom preset can make it look different.

Looking Up

Okay, so I put the lens out over the covered portion of the back porch for this shot.

Photo Editing Style Lightroom Presets- Look Up

Lightroom Preset: Rosewood

This one is haunting to me. Could be fun come halloween time. . . or just simply to tell a different story.

Looking Down

Ever wonder how much we can lie in photo editing. . . I wish that there was a color of flooring or paint that could disguise the red dirt as well as a little Lightroom preset.

Photo-Editing-Style-Lightroom-Presets- Look Down

Lightroom Preset: Blue Jay

I am always finding I admire images with lots of blue- especially turquoise. And I know sometimes that’s created in editing.

Speaking of the way photo editing lies. You may know that most of the time I really prefer to let my shots look like real life- to be authentic and shine on in their original manner. (And I work hard to get it right in camera so I don’t have to do much editing.) But, do you ever wonder about photographers you admire? Just as we, as women, often look and compare ourselves to models who’ve been re-touched with lighting and photoshop, I think we fall into a trap of comparing the best of someone’s images (very likely edited images) with the worst of our images. We have to stop doing that.

I like to play with presets more when I’ve got shots that just don’t matter. Some of these images might make cool backgrounds and wallpapers. But you know what, I still get hung up a bit using presets to dramatically edit my shots- because they lie. Tuesday I shared my no rules all fun, do whatever, art journal pages. . . I realize I need to give myself that same freedom for creative photography play as well.

But, just to be real here- here’s the before shots- And a quick shot of my view this morning that harkened me outside for just a few minutes to play.

Want to play along? Will you accept the assignment? Step outside (or for an even great challenge, try this indoors) and take five images (really take more- play with those five images). It’s up to you if you want to explore your own photo editing style afterwards. Just hitting that shutter button can cure the dreary day blues and alter your mood.